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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Magic Words


No, they’re not please.

Or thank you.

There are three of them.

We know what they are. It is why the bulk of us read romance.

Oh, most of us like our heroes reluctant. We want him kicking and screaming and then eventually begging the heroine as he ultimately swears his undying devotion.

I love you.

Words mean a great deal to me. Some moments  I’m more eloquent than others. This time I’m not. Not when I’m writing things like “words mean so much to me.” But they do. 

And ever since I was a child I knew (in no particular order):

I would teach. Check.

I would be a writer. Check.

I would marry my high school sweetheart. Check.

I would be a mother. ..almost no check.

For whatever reason, this last certainty became uncertain as I battled infertility. I joined the approximately 6.1 million women in the US battling the disease.  Ick. Infertility. I’m sure there’s hardly anything less romantic than THAT on a romance blog. 

But bear with me…You see, for most of our heroines things like infertility don’t happen to them. They fight for love, find love, and ultimately their happily ever after. That is part of the magic of the read. At least for me, it is. But most heroines do not have to sit with doctors and search for answers and come up…empty. 

On the pages of a romance novel we’re capable of crafting magical moments for fictional people. Once upon a time four years and some months ago, some magical romance fairy (with the help of a team of doctors) flew by and sprinkled Happily Ever After dust on me… and I found myself pregnant. Every day of my pregnancy was a happily ever after. Every. Single. Day.

Leading up to my delivery, all throughout my pregnancy, I thought about what my first words would be when I met my little prince. I had poured through my own baby book to know that my father had said; “She is beautiful.” My mother had said; “She has so much hair.” What would my words be?

Having yearned for that day in the delivery room as I had, I had even practiced those words. The splendor of that moment, however, was not something that could be practiced. I had planned on saying; “Is he healthy?” “He’s beautiful.” What came out when they placed the joy of all my days in my arms was, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” It was a litany. It came out over and over. I couldn’t form one other word. Not one other fragmented thought. I couldn’t keep track of what my husband's words were in that moment. Nothing but the love I knew or felt for my son poured from me to him.

I loved him. I had loved him before I’d met him.
Then the HEA fairy decided my story needed more conflict. After all, what’s better than a tortured heroine? At our son’s birth, I learned he had Down syndrome.

As I sat in the hospital that night I sang to him and I cried. I cried because I who loved words and loved to read, worried; would my son ever be able to speak to me? To speak with me?

The story of my life that played out was one of struggle, uncertainty, fear, and...unconditional love. Time gradually taught me that this is okay. That this is still an HEA albeit a different one. All the fear and uncertainty gave way to joy and laughter.

I who love the written word have come to find poetic beauty in the most succinct utterances. I’ve learned that to show and not tell applies to a good novel but even more so to our daily lives.

                                   
You love the parallel bars!  Your smile and laughter says it all!

Okay, you hate this suit. I 'hear' you...LOUD AND CLEAR. 

















However, a few weeks ago (two weeks and four days to be exact), something magical happened. Something many authors write about; the quintessential phrase of all good novels…I love you.

For the first time in four years, my son told me: I love you.

And I couldn’t have written it better myself.

                          

So here's my question: When in your own life have you seen actions or deeds that were more powerful than words?


34 comments:

  1. Oh my, that is truly lovely. What a wonderful day that must have been for you. I hope life continues to smile on you and your precious gift.

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    1. Thank you so much Tory! And I second that. (If I can, of course.) : )

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  2. Christi! Now I'm starting my day off with puffy eyes. Everyone at work will think something's wrong me, and I'd rather not have them know I've got a tender heart. I have a reputation to protect, you know? ;)

    For me, it's the little things that speak louder than words. The flowers from my own garden that my son picks and gives to me as a present. My favorite drink (which is difficult to find, 'cause you know I'm high maintenance) that The Scientist keeps stocked in his refrigerator even though I've never asked him to do that. These aren't huge, in your face signs of love, but they're signs just the same.

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    1. Wow! I made you teary- eyed?! Now I'M touched. You are so right, Ava... Sometimes if you are lucky, life teaches you how to appreciate the beauty only found in the small and yet extremely powerful things...like my son's smile when I lay down next to him and read his nighttime story...thank you for sharing. Oh and BTW, your scientist is a definite keeper!

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  3. Christi,
    What a beautiful blog! I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I feel like I see actions more powerful than words all the time in my hospice work. I know most people think of hospice as very hard and sad, and it is, but there is also beauty in the love people have for one another. I feel more optimistic about the world because of what I witness in the work I do.

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    1. Oh Samantha,
      I'm so sorry to make you cry. : ) I'm sure that every day you witnsess amazing acts of bravery, strength, and love all wrapped into struggle and courage. I've found that in a way life is more appreciated when you deal with the struggles as well.

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  4. How in the heck are we supposed to write a response to this?! I can't see through the happy tears for you, Christi!

    Thank you sharing such a beautiful milestone. ((HUGS))

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  5. Lovely post, Christi.

    I agree with Ava, it is the little things that say so, so much. A hug out of the blue, a kiss for no reason, or someone squeezing/holding your hand. Sometimes words are simply too inadequate to express what is in a heart.

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    1. You are so right, Jane. That's what I was just saying to Ava...words are powerful but it's so often the smiles, the hugs, the belly-laughs that say more than words ever could.

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  6. Oh Christi, *sucks in a shuddering breath* I'm a hot mess over here now. What a beautiful post. I have no idea how to respond to it except to say that now I need a hug. Thank goodness I have nowhere I need to be this morning because the red-eyed, snot-nosed look I'm sporting isn't one I prefer to share with others. Thanks for making me cry. :}

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    1. Oh Andris
      I saw this first thing this morning and couldn't get on to reply to your comment because I had computer difficulties and I felt so bad because I made you cry. I hesitated about sharing this post because I worried about being a bragging kinda mom...and then I read your comment and felt so glad I did share my little prince's great milestone and my joy. Thank you for sharing my happiness.

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  7. Christi,
    What a beautiful. I can feel love the for our precious son through your words. How wonderful and blessed that you got to hear the magical words "I love you" from his lips. In a world where it seems terrible deeds usually get the notice,I am constantly astonished by people. My son's third grade class was recently asked to gather hygenic supplies for the homeless in our city. When I got there to help bag the supplies I was flabbergasted at the amount of supplies eighteen children had managed to pull together. The tooothbrushes, toothpaste, handwipes ets. filled an entire classroom! the love and giving in children's hearts constatnlu touches me and reminds me how beautiful our world is.

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    1. I know Julie. You are right...there's so much ugliness on the world but then you open your eyes to the beauty that is all around us. Your son and his class-I just don't know what to say....how heartwarming!

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  8. Awwww- what a wonderful, magical, amazing moment!! I'm so glad it happened for you, my dear :) I know he said it to you a thousand different ways before, but I'm so happy that you now have 1001 ways to have those words from him!

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    1. Yes Erin! He always 'said' it, In ways that I knew. This was the icing on my cake! (Horrible cliche but a nod to your love for baking!)

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  9. Oh my goodness, Christi, I am crying! What a wonderful blog and what a beautiful thing to have happened for both of you. I can't even express my happiness for you. You so deserved some happiness.

    I agree with everyone else it's the little things that count that most. I've had so many over the years that I can't seem to pick out anything in particular except for maybe the fact that oldest child who is twenty years old still holds my hand in public. We were headed into the mall one day and I instinctively reached for his hand. Then I dropped it because I know young men have a reputation to keep. He grabbed my hand and said, "Mom, I don't care what anyone thinks of me. I'll always hold your hand."

    I can only tell you that little moments like that will happen all throughout your son's life. He'll always love his mother. Even when he's mad at her. Enjoy every single second. I can't express this enough. Slow down for a bit, take some time off from whatever you're doing and enjoy your children. Before you know it they're grown and gone. Wonderful blog. It really started my day off right. I'm off to hug on my youngest son while I can.

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    1. Suzie,
      That's so sweet about your oldest son. You did an amazing job with him.

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    2. Oh Suzie,
      How very, very beautiful. It says a great deal about how you raised your son; with love and the ability to not fear showing it. And thank you for the sweet words about my post!

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  10. Oh, Christi! What a lovely post! I'm SO happy that you got your happily ever after...and that "I love you" is just icing on the cake, isn't it? There is truly nothing sweeter than hearing those words from our little ones.

    The moment I'm thinking of with my daughter happened just the other day...she's not a terribly snuggly kid. Even as a baby, she preferred to fall asleep on her own -- no rocking or holding -- but every once in a while she'll ask to snuggle me. It lasts for a few minutes if I'm lucky. But the other day, we were in the hot tub, and she swam up to me, wrapped her arms around me, and wouldn't let go. She had a big smile the whole time, and we just sat there, snuggling in the bubbles. So weird and random of her, but I didn't complain. LOL!

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    1. Love, Jerrica!!! That must have been so wonderful...and I'm jealous about the whole hot tub thing!!

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  11. How about this post, Christi? I'm more than a little choked up. Such a beautiful story.

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  12. What a beautiful boy!!!! You made me smile :)

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    1. Thank you Erin! I worried about being the braggy kind of mom! : ) But this time I couldn't help it! (Then again, most times I can't help it!)

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  13. How lovely, Christi! May the two of you have many, many more such moments of happiness!

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    1. Thank you so much, Deb! And amen to that!!!

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  14. That's such a wonderful story Christi. A truly happily ever after. Rory is very lucky to be your son and you are so fortunate to be his mother.

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    1. It is, Lauren. In every sense of the word. And thank you for saying that; I feel like I'm blessed to have him as my son. I couldn't be more proud of him in life.

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  15. What a lovely post. Your words filled me with love for you and your precious Rory. Today, I needed to be reminded that although our journey through life does not always end up where we want it to that wherever we do end up we can find love and joy. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  16. Ann,
    You said it perfectly. I have said so many times that this is not the life I would have ever imagined for myself, it was never the life I'd dreamed of...but it doesn't make it any less special, any less perfect. It's just a different perfect. Thank you for your kind words on my post.

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  17. What an amazing story to tell! Rory is so blessed to have you as his mommy! You are an amazing mother, friend and teacher! I am so blessed and thankful that our boys brought us together! And so true about those first words! I love you! So precious and powerful words!
    Alyssa

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    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful words, Alyssa. We consider ourselves TRULY blessed in every way.

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  18. Such a beautiful story, Christi! So glad you got the "whole" package, including the I Love You. And Rory is just a sweetheart! You are blessed.

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